Today was race day and it was ALL about being uncomfortable.
I am 5k challenged. I am actually challenged any time I ask my body to travel quickly over short distances. So 5ks, sprint duathlons, and sprint Tris (or interval workouts of any type) are not my favorite. Hell, on average, it takes me 20-30 minutes to simply wrap my head around what I’m doing and settle into a grove. If the race is a 5k, it’s over and done before I’ve even convinced myself I want to BE there!
However, I do know that in order to improve and reach our goals we have to step outside our comfort zone from time to time. We have to force ourselves to do things that we don’t really want to do so that we may unleash our true potential.
So this morning, I put down my coffee and headed out in the rain (hey, at least it wasn’t hot) to the local MardiPardi/Eco Adventure 5k.
For those of you who are not from here, its Mardi Gras in the deep south. So naturally, there was a huge party complete with runners in costume, beer, food, a band and even a little parade for the post-race festivities. A nice touch, but I just wanted to get the race in the record books before the impending squall line hit and made an already challenging situation near impossible.
My prayers were answered and we were off at 9:01.
I ran the 1st mile like it was my last. I tend to be a slow starter, so I’ve been working on this for the past few weeks. My 1 mile split was 7:59. I was both relieved and pleased so I allowed myself to back off, breathe and actually take in a little oxygen. The 2nd mile was closer to 8:40. These first two splits exceeded my expectations so much, I granted myself the luxury of actually STOPPING (gasp!) for water at the 2 mile point and re-adjusting for the last mile. The 3rd mile was to be a comfortable one, as the work was over. I hit it at 9:15. I rounded out the final .1 at an 8:55 pace. Not bad, not bad at all.
Finish line time 26:30…a new PR and a new goal pace for training purposes.
And the best part…
At about the 2.5 mile point, I look down the road and I see what I think is AquaDoc’ s truck. It was indeed him, stopping by, on his way home from the hospital. He pulls up next to me and screams, “Run Woman, Run!”, and drives with me to end! I was so excited to see him at the same point where he would normally be coming back to me, after completing his race, to run me in and help me finish strong. It was just the extra push I needed. Man, I love that guy!
Now, the 2nd best part
The 35-39 age group award, and one I will cherish forever! It’s been a long year full of a lot of hard work.
A little validation always goes a long way in making the pain and suffering all seem worthwhile!
Run Happy, My Friends!